Thursday, May 24, 2012

Try this...

Pick a love song.

Now imagine that the love interest in the song is you.

Really listen to the lyrics and apply them to yourself.

Do this everyday.

Those love songs don't seem so ridiculous anymore, huh?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Lessons on Love from a Short Term Lover

I take risks with love [Lesson 1. Risks are necessary]. Some people might think this is reckless and is the reason I'm always "single" (The term "single" is used to reinforce the idea that we should all have committed partners all the time. Not true. And when we don't have them, we're "single" a.k.a. only a.k.a. alone. Not true. "Single" also suggests that in this state you are somehow available and looking for a committed relationship, or should be. Also not true.) And yes, none of my relationships have ended in marital bliss. But how many do?  Hell, how many marriages end in marital bliss? [Lesson 2. Sometimes the shit don't work out. And sometimes its your own fault. But that's ok.]

As the days go on, I'm more and more sure that I'm not in "the game" looking for something that lasts forever. In fact, when I enter relationships, I try to make it a point to not say forever. Instead I stay as long as it works, as long as we both want to be in it. [Lesson 3. Don't stay a day longer. You're doing yourself and your partner a disservice if you do.] And I honestly don't think there's anything wrong with that.

I'm not afraid of heartbreak anymore [Lesson 4. Don't live in fear of things you have no control over]. It comes, it lingers, it leaves. When it didn't leave, It was because I was holding on. I now also understand that part of getting to know someone (prior to and within a relationship) is potentially finding out they're crazy, immature, insensitive, cheap, dishonest, etc. [<-- That was Lesson 5. Lesson 6 is that this says something about THEM and has pretty little to do with you.] That's why I don't look back on all my past relationships and say "what the hell is wrong with me" anymore.

Compatibility is not all divine and astrological (although that's some of it. I tried to date a Virgo once. God what a train wreck), it is up to us to set boundaries and own our own shit. [Lesson 7. You entered the relationship as an individual. It should stay that way.] Relationships, however brief, have changed my life, but they haven't changed me, although they've helped.

And if the shit isn't working, isn't healthy, or doesn't feel right (not to be confused with feeling good because that's not a constant in life), I bounce. And trust me, bouncing comes easy to me. Ask my past lovers. I'm unashamed and I embrace it. And I will not apologize. [Lesson 8. Relationships are a constant test of your own capacity to stay true to self in order to share that with someone else.] Follow suit.

I have loved. I am not afraid to love [Lesson 9. Do NOT be afraid to love]. But I also understand that love, by itself, is never enough. [Lesson 10. I repeat. Love, by itself is never enough]. Relationships require hard work, compromise, understanding, communication on an EQUAL level from all parties. [Lesson 11. Love is not about power].

So yea, I love em and leave em. All of my brief (under a year)  relationships have been more fulfilling than the one long term (on and off for 8 years) relationship I had. Mainly because I love me and am the master(teacher) of my own destiny. And that pretty much sums it up.

In search of all things real [<--- Lesson 12!],

Sesali B.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

First Guest Post EVER: It All Belongs to Me

Who would have thought that this would resonate so well with me today. Thank you Sista Porshe. 


For weeks I have tried to figure out why the new single of R and B singers Brandy and Monica “It All Belongs to Me” resonated with me so much. Like literally I have played this song at least seventy times since it first came out. Today, while driving down 57 to attend a baby shower of a college friend, it hit me why I enjoyed this song so much. I realized it was not the melodies or harmonies created by the voices of these women or the instruments used. No, it was not even because of my excitement to have these two vocalists back on the scene. I love this song because it resonates Ntozake Shange’s words of the lady in green from the choreopoem For Colored Girls.
The lady in green so eloquently states,
Somebody almost walked off wid alla my stuff

In the chorus of “It all Belongs to Me” Brandy and Monica name physical personal items that they have sewed into relationships that they want back. They state,

I know you mad/Cant take no more, but put that back/ that ain’t yours/have a fit, /slam the door/ but leave them bags on the floor/that sh*t belongs to me/those clothes those cars those rings/yeah/ and that macbook/that sh*t belongs to me/ so log off your facebook/It all belongs to me

This chorus is speaking directly to the lady in green’s words by adding tangible effect to the word “stuff.” The Lady in Green also gives tangibles to the word “stuff” when she claims it as, “the kick and sway of it the perfect ass for my man…my love my toes…my rhythms and my voice…” While the song gives more tangible items that can be brought, Shange’s lady in green talks about the things taken from her that one can not purchase or return for example voice. We build these relationships with people who mean us no good but to run off with all of our “stuff”. We pour into them and they give us nothing in return. They even steal our voice, which is the most powerful thing we have. 

The illustrious poet, Audre Lorde tells us “that what is most important must be spoken, made, verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood.” The difference in my reading of For Colored Girls and It All Belongs to Me is that the Lady in Green seems to be speaking to a man or person whom she did not have the opportunity to tell because they had already walked off with her “stuff” whereas Brandy and Monica are speaking to the person before they get the chance to leave completely. Although I believe it is good to find your voice period, I believe Audre Lorde would urge us to speak before people have the chance to walk out and off with all of our “stuff”. She tells us “[y]our silence will not protect you…so it is better to speak knowing you were never meant to survive.”

I agree with Lorde and I am learning to do just that. It takes daily practice and reflection and while both pieces speak directly to women’s relationships with men, I think this is the principle we should apply to all facets of our lives including relationships, friendships, family, partnerships, etc. Find the voice and courage to tell these people to give you your “stuff” back before it is to late.

I urge myself and you all to “go and get yo sh*t back”

Porshe a.k.a. Pretty Black a.k.a. Sista Po Po is one of my homegirls from college. She's a writer, scholar, and Black girl. Much love.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Namaste: Fat Bitch, bad bitch?

In a nutshell, yes.

This idea is at the foundation of this blog. I just haven't put it in your face yet. Coming soon.....

But for now know this:

I'm fat and I'm bad.